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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 3508795, 9 pages
Research Article

Chemoradiotherapy as Definitive Treatment for Elderly Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

1Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
3Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
4German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
5German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Partner Site Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Panagiotis Balermpas; ed.ugk@sapmrelab.sitoiganap

Received 21 July 2017; Accepted 18 December 2017; Published 17 January 2018

Academic Editor: Nam Nguyen

Copyright © 2018 Jens Müller von der Grün et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. With the aging population and a rising incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), there is an emerging need for developing strategies to treat elderly patients. Patients and Methods. We retrospectively analyzed 158 patients treated with definitive, concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for SCCHN. Clinicopathological characteristics, acute toxicities, and oncological outcomes were compared between patients younger and older than (or of age equal to) 65, 70, and 75 years. Results. RT dose, chemotherapy regimen, and total chemotherapy dose were balanced between the groups. After a median follow-up of 29 months, overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), local control rate, and distant metastasis-free survival stratified by age of ≥65, ≥70, or ≥75 years revealed no differences. The rate of acute toxicities was also not higher for older patients. Worse ECOG performance score (ECOG 2-3) was associated with impaired OS () and PFS (). Conclusion. Definitive treatment with CRT for SCCHN is feasible and effective; even in advanced age treatment decisions should be made according to general condition and comorbidity, rather than calendar age alone.